I learned so much more than I could have ever expected in a 10-week timeframe. The fellowship certainly got me more excited about entrepreneurship and showed me that there is a clear—albeit difficult—path from research to company to patient.
Kessler Fellows Program
Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in August, 2023.
Engaging Entrepreneurial Spirit
Kessler Fellows is an entrepreneurship program rooted in the College of Engineering. The program is open to all juniors at Cornell University that have a strong interest in entrepreneurship.
Kessler Fellows program is delivered in two phases:
Students enroll in a 1-credit immersive course during the spring semester to explore fundamental topics in entrepreneurship and to help them cultivate their readiness for a summer internship experience at a startup.
Students then spend the summer between their junior and senior years working for a startup of their choosing.
During the program, students are connected to executive leadership at their chosen startup to build their entrepreneurial skills, experience, and professional network, as well as a robust network of Kessler Fellows alumni to aid them as they develop their careers.
Eligibility and Selection
Any junior at Cornell University with an interest in entrepreneurship is encouraged to apply.
Summer funding is provided through the generosity of Andrew J. Kessler ‘80 EE. Fellows will receive a weekly stipend during their internship and have all travel costs covered.
The program involves a one-credit course during the spring semester, one-on-one time with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and a presentation at the conclusion of their summer startup experience.
Going into the summer, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after college. I knew I wanted to work on something impactful in the bioelectronic or biomedical field and thought working at a startup or getting a Ph.D. would be the best route for that. Being a Kessler Fellow allowed me to talk to many different people about how their careers progressed and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Georgia working at her fellowship
“ Academics are important. I wanted to get out there and do real things. Getting involved with start-ups is not the typical route, but it was what I needed to do."
-Georgia Crowther, Kessler Fellow
Ahmed Elsamadisi ’13
Recognized on Forbes "30 Under 30" Lists, Elsamadisi founded a startup called Narrator AI and is a graduate of YCombinator. Earlier in his career, he also leveraged his Cornell connections to land a position as a Senior Data Engineer at WeWork.
Shanee Lu ' 11
After completing her Kessler Fellowship, Lu was accepted into Cornell's competitive eLab student accelerator and she launched Qubit, a startup that enables coaches to speak directly into their players' helmets. She also landed a position as a product manager at Wyze.
Michael Gingras ’17
Gingras interned at Ideo through his Kessler Fellowship and launched a bitcoin startup called Dexter in Cornell's eLab accelerator. Upon graduation, he has served as a software engineer at companies including Nasdaq, Gearflow.com, and Sora.
Kessler Fellows News
2022 Kessler Fellows secure summer startup internships
Students in Cornell Engineering's Kessler Fellows program will be embarking on internships with startups across the country this summer and engaging in work from modern beekeeping to designer jewelry... Read more about 2022 Kessler Fellows secure summer startup internships
2022 Kessler Fellows reflect diversity of disciplines
The Kessler Fellows program welcomes fifteen new student entrepreneurs from across Cornell's colleges for entrepreneurship training and startup internship experience. Read more about 2022 Kessler Fellows reflect diversity of disciplines
Gene editing, brand acquisition, neural dust: Kessler Fellows devote summer to startups
While some returning students left behind long days at the beach and summer barbeques, the student entrepreneurs in the 2021 cohort of the Kessler Fellows program returned having completed 10-week... Read more about Gene editing, brand acquisition, neural dust: Kessler Fellows devote summer to startups